31 Aug 2017 Lvl. 2
Alert created on: 02 Apr 2015 n° 41/2015 Bulgaria

Bulgarian Financial Supervision Commission Tries to Silence Newspapers Working on Banking Disclosures

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner RSF AEJ
Partner RSF AEJ
The Financial Supervision Commission is an administrative body established to maintain "stability and transparency on the non-banking financial sector". The Commission has distinguished itself by ordering medias to pay record fines to media outlets and news websites in 2014, such as Economedia (weekly Capital) for 80000 euros, Alpiko publishing (zovnews.bg) and Konkurent news (Konkurent newspaper). investigative news website Bivol.bg, Wikileaks' partner in the Balkans, was also fined and asked to reveal sources.

The Bulgarian banking sector has been put through important "turbulences" during summer 2014. In response to a wave of panic, the Financial Supervision Commission has launched a war against the media. Prevailing itself of protecting the stability of the banking sector, the administrative authority has contributed to silence the debate on mismanagement of the banks by sanctioning with heavy fines those who were publishing "unofficial news" about financial difficulties in the sector.
31 Aug 2017: On 31 August 2017, after consideration of the authorities’ response and follow-up to this alert, the partner organisations of the Platform declared this case to be "resolved”, concluding that it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
State replies
Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer
22 Jun 2015
Report by Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, following his visit to Bulgaria, from 9 to 11 February 2015. CommDH(2015)12. 22 June 2015
Open in a new window show-link